The good old days

retro hour

The good old days

If we were to look back at TV shows past and if we tried to figure out what we loved about them, we would perhaps remember the gentle idealism, the clever scripts and the family fun that we lapped up with relish.

Those were the days when we wanted to believe that there were ideal friendships as shown in the serial Full House, and that daughters and mothers could bond as closely as in the family drama Gilmore Girls, and that a misfit like Will Smith could bring in a breath of fresh air into the world of a wealthy family in Bel Air.

We gasped at the mysteries of The Crystal Maze, followed the intrigues of the supernatural The X-Files, admired the prowess of the warrior princess Xena and laughed non-stop at the hilarious antics of Cory in Boy Meets World. These shows took us to a utopian world where justice always triumphed, where love always ruled, and simplicity was the order of the day. There was always a lesson to take home, and a story to remember.

A familiar context

Today, aficionados of retro TV shows have a reason to smile again. Many of these TV serials are coming back in a new avatar with some of the original stars and a brand new script. Some of the shows that have been lined up for a reboot include Gilmore Girls, Full House, The X-Files, Twin Peaks and many more. A wave of nostalgia and excitement is sweeping the world at the idea of these old TV shows coming back to the small screen again.

What do people love about the old versus the new? TV viewers have a variety of views about the issue. Management consultant and avid TV viewer Snehal Gowda, says, “The reason why we love old TV shows can be traced back to the nostalgia and memories associated with them. But we need to remember that though we may go back to these TV serials, we can never repeat the experience of a memory. For instance, I used to love Frasier, Will and Grace and 30 Rock, but I am not sure if I will feel the same when I watch these shows now. It is like having a favourite food as a child. You may go back to it later to enjoy the pleasant experience it evokes, but your palate has changed over time and you are used to new things now.”

In her opinion, unless the newly-revived shows are relevant to the times, people may not be able to enjoy what they had loved during another phase of their lives. “That is why I have mixed feelings about the idea,” she says, adding. “In old TV shows the plot lines were simpler, less demanding and their world seemed ideal. Today the shows on TV are very complicated and demand your time and attention.”

Among the shows that viewers want a reboot of, the family drama Gilmore Girls seems to head the list among viewers. The show is played out in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut and is about the bond between a mother and a daughter. Most of the episodes revolve around the interaction between Rory, her mother and her grandparents. Each episode takes the viewer through the romances they get entangled in, the complicated relationships that evolve, and above all, the glimpses of the gentle and almost magical life in a small town, all of which makes for delightful TV viewing.

Renewing old bonds

According to various reports, the new avatar of the show could star Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson and Kelly Bishop who will reprise their respective roles as Lorelai, Rory, Luke and Emily. A few of the other older actors could also feature in the new episodes of this much-loved TV show.

Another favourite show among TV viewers is Full House, which will now return as Fuller House. The original show centred on a widower and his three daughters who gets his brother-in-law and best friend to help raise them. The show revolved around the children, their family bonds and all the ups and downs of regular family life.

According to various reports, the reboot of the serial Fuller House could be about one of the daughters, D J Tanner-Fuller (played by Candace Cameron Bure) who is pregnant with her third child. Her friends and relatives will help her raise her two sons as she has her hands full.

Rubi Chakravarti, actor, humourist, entertainment professional and empowerment speaker has her own take on the idea of rebooting old TV shows. She explains, “I think the reason why people loved the old shows was because of the innocence. They were not radical or scary in any way, unlike so many of the dark TV shows that are on air today. In the past, the shows were light, fluffy and identifiable. There was a sense of freedom, bonhomie and frothiness to them that we loved.”

The other shows that are either in the process of being rebooted or have been brought back are The X-Files which is a science fiction horror drama series that looks into unsolved cases involving paranormal events, the TV show Twin Peaks which features a murder investigation by an FBI agent, and the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which is about a street-smart teenager who moves in with his rich aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will not be rebooted but it will be transformed into a new story with undertones of the old theme.

Another show that game show lovers can look forward to is the return of The Crystal Maze. The much-loved game show anchored by Richard O’Brien used to feature a team of players who go through a labyrinth of interesting and complicated obstacles to find sparkling crystals balls that are concealed in various places. The reboot of the show may be slightly different, but those who loved the original show will enjoy the intricacy of the fresh themes and the beautiful maze.

So, if it is a blend of old and new TV shows that you are looking for this year, you can be sure that you will not be disappointed. Get ready, sit back and enjoy!

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